The BC Federation of Labour is renewing calls for the province to improve the safety at workplaces after two recent deaths in the Okanagan.
On Friday, a worker at a small sawmill in Lumby was killed on the job, and Monday, an employee at Tolko’s mill in Kelowna died after a tug boat sank in Okanagan Lake.
While the incidents remain under investigation, BC Labour Fed president Irene Lanzinger says the fatalities are a sign that more needs to be done to protect workers.
“Our view is that government and employers aren’t doing enough to keep workers safe on the job,” Lanzinger says. “Health and safety protections are weak and not always rigorously enforced. Worker safety is being compromised. Injured workers aren’t fairly compensated, and employers whose negligence kills or seriously injures workers are let off with a slap on the wrist.”
Lanzinger says the BC Fed will continue to press the provincial government and Opposition NDP for more stringent laws and rules, more frequent workplace safety inspections, tougher enforcement, more stringent penalties for employers who commit violations, and for greater balance and fairness at WorkSafe BC.
Photo: Irene Lanzinger, President BC Federation of Labour